Patients complaining of chest and throat infections have shot up in the past two weeks. Experts have blamed high pollution levels in the Capital for this.
"At the All India Institute of Medical Sciences, patients coming with chest infections or respiratory problems have increased. This is because of high air pollution levels," said Dr Randeep Guleria, professor of medicine at AIIMS.
"In winters, pollutants tend to stay at ground levels for longer duration. Morning hours are most damaging as children are on their way to school and office goers on their way to work are exposed to high toxic levels of pollution," he said.
Dr Guleria added that patients suffering from underlying diseases, bronchitis or heart condition, are the worst affected as their silent diseases resurface in this weather.
"The number of patients complaining of chronic bronchitis or asthma has seen a spurt in the recent past. As the winter further peaks, cases will only continue to rise," said Dr RP Singh, senior consultant, internal medicine, Rockland Hospital.
"Although the government seems to have introduced measures like CNG and green drives to curb pollution levels but it is clearly not helping. The government should bring about more stringent norms to ensure pollutions levels are kept in check," he said.
The official disease statistics shows that reported cases of acute respiratory diseases have already increased by about 28% between 2005 and 2008 in Delhi. These, along with other respiratory and cardiac conditions amongst the city population, enhance the impact of air pollution and also increase the vulnerability and health risks for people.
Even the report released by the Centre for Science and Environment (CSE) on winter air pollution affirms the rising pollution levels in Delhi.
The CSE report claimed that this winter pollution levels are not only high but also different — along with high levels of tiny particles, more pollutants have added to the toxic cocktail.
The official air quality index shows several locations in Delhi are reeling under concoction of pollutants like nitrogen and carbon monoxide (CO).